What to Do With Old Appliances
How to Dispose of Old Appliances
When your old appliances start breaking down, it helps to know your options for getting rid of them. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to dispose of old appliances in your area. You’ll just need to decide whether your best option for appliance disposal is donating it, recycling it or just throwing it away.
Assess the Condition of Your Old Appliances
The condition of your appliance will help you determine when and how to dispose of it. Here are some telltale signs that it may be time to get rid of your appliance:
- 10 Years or Older: Most appliances are built to last between 10 and 20 years, though your mileage may vary depending on manufacturing defects and the quality of your unit.
- Loud Noises: If your fridge or microwave is making an unusually loud noise, it’s probably time to replace.
- Constant Repairs: If you find yourself fixing something on your appliance more than once a year, it’s time to get a new one.
Once you’ve decided your home needs a new appliance, you need to decide the best way to get rid of your old appliance. Keep reading to explore your options.
Options for Donating Your Appliances
If your appliance doesn’t have any major problems, you can simply donate it. The organizations below generally accept large appliances as donations:
Donation centers that usually offer appliance pickup:
- Salvation Army (Also allows for drop-off)
- Habitat for Humanity Restores
- St. Vincent de Paul
- Vietnam Veterans of America (Small appliances only)
Donation centers that require drop-off:
- Local Charities and Shelters
- Goodwill (Small appliances only)
Options for Recycling Appliances
If your appliance is in poor condition, or is broken beyond repair, then the best option for appliance disposal is to recycle it. Your options for recycling will differ based on what you are recycling and the options available near you. In general, you should be able to recycle things like refrigerators, freezers and ovens using the local resources below.
- Transfer Station: If your city offers recycling, they will typically offer recycling stations for large appliances at a local transfer station or dump.
- Local Scrap Metal Recyclers: Metal recyclers will accept old appliances for sale as scrap.
- Retailers: When you purchase a new appliance, some retailers will offer to haul away your used appliance (sometimes for a fee). Ask about this option when purchasing your new appliance.
- Utility Provider: Your utility provider may offer an appliance recycling program. Some organizations offer this in conjunction with the EPA’s Responsible Appliance Disposal program and may provide free pickup and pay an incentive.
If you have trouble finding local resources for recycling large appliances, use Earth911’s recycling database to locate recycling facilities near you.
Options for Disposing of Your Old Appliances
If recycling isn’t an option for you, then your last option for appliance disposal is to simply throw away your old items. There are many options for appliance disposal in your area. Decide which of these options is right for you:
Most dumpster rental companies will accept large, non-refrigerant appliances for disposal. Additional fees may be imposed by local landfills ranging from $35 to $75. Ask your rental provider about what appliances you can throw in the dumpster beforehand. This is a great option if you’re planning to get rid of more than just one appliance.
Your city may offer collection and recycling services for large appliance disposal. Contact municipal waste collection agency or the department of public works for information. Additional fees may apply.
Local landfills and transfer stations will accept large appliances. Fees and regulations may apply.
Junk Removal Service
Local junk collectors will accept large appliances for either recycling or disposal, though fees can range from $50 to $100 depending on your location.
Important Note: How to Dispose of a Refrigerator Built Before 1995
Refrigerators and freezers built before 1995 contain chlorofluorocarbon refrigerants (commonly known as Freon). These substances are ozone-depleting chemicals that destroy the ozone layer and are also powerful greenhouse gases. For that reason, older fridges or freezers must be properly drained before they can be disposed of inside a dumpster or at a local dump. Use the EPA’s list of certified refrigerant reclaimers to find a Freon recovery service near you, or simply search for one in your area.
Appliance Disposal FAQs
Have any other potentially difficult items to throw away? Check out our other disposal how-tos to learn more about disposing of electronics, mattresses and furniture.